Friday, October 28, 2011

You Are The Brand

You’re an author. Therefore you need a brand. Something that lets the world know what you and your book are all about.  But what is it? There’s a ton of articles on the internet about how to build a brand, many of them written by social media and marketing gurus.

I’m no guru, but I’ll tell you what I think platform and brand boils down to: being yourself.

If I were trying to build a platform/brand, I would start by asking myself what writers I enjoy following, whether it be on their blog or a social media site. What drew me to them? What made me buy their books? Usually it’s because I like what they have to say. Or because I have similar interests.

Building a brand – to me -  is as simple as making a list of your interests and what your books are about.

For me, it would be something like:

Writing horror/thrillers
Writing advice/tips
Fantasy/horror art
Playing guitar
Metal/classic rock/blues music
Horror movies

Tweet/post about your interests. If you’re on Twitter, you’ll attract those with similar interests. Throw in some promotional tweets here and there, but don’t go crazy. Right now I’m trying to mix in 2-3 promotional tweets per week. Some authors do a lot more, but that’s what I’m comfortable with.

For examples of authors who do this well, I’d recommend checking out Bryan Smith, Amanda Hocking, and Lynn Viehl.  They are all active on line without bashing people over the head with “Buy my book.” All three of these authors share their interests and hobbies through blogs/and or social media.

The other part of building a brand/platform is showing up on a regular basis. Be present on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Interact with others.

Building a brand doesn’t have to be complicated. Be honest. Put it out there. You are the brand. 

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